Abstract Title:

Berberine on the Prevention and Management of Cardiometabolic Disease: Clinical Applications and Mechanisms of Action.

Abstract Source:

Am J Chin Med. 2021 Sep 6:1-22. Epub 2021 Sep 6. PMID: 34488551

Abstract Author(s):

Richard Y Cao, Yuntao Zheng, Ying Zhang, Lingling Jiang, Qing Li, Wanqun Sun, Wenqin Gu, Weifeng Cao, Linyan Zhou, Hongchao Zheng, Jian Yang

Article Affiliation:

Richard Y Cao


Berberine is an alkaloid from several medicinal plants originally used to treat diarrhea and dysentery as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. In recent years, berberine has been discovered to exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities in the treatment of diverse diseases ranging from cancer and neurological dysfunctions to metabolic disorders and heart diseases. This review article summarizes the clinical practice and laboratory exploration of berberine for the treatment of cardiometabolic and heart diseases, with a focus on the novel insights and recent advances of the underlying mechanisms recognized in the past decade. Berberine was found to display pleiotropic therapeutic effects against dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, arrhythmia, and heart failure. The mechanisms of berberine for the treatment of cardiometabolic disease involve combating inflammation and oxidative stress such as inhibiting proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) activation, regulating electrical signals and ionic channels such as targeting human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG) currents, promoting energy metabolism such as activating adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway, modifying gut microbiota to promote transforming of berberine into its intestine-absorbable form, and interacting with non-coding RNAs via targeting multiple signaling pathways such as AMPK, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), etc. Collectively, berberine appears to be safe and well-tolerated in clinical practice, especially for those who are intolerant to statins. Knowledge from this field may pave the way for future development of more effective pharmaceutical approaches for managing cardiometabolic risk factors and preventing heart diseases.

Study Type : Review

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